Rohmer retrospective kicks off with six moral tales of sex and desire

A scene from 1967’s La Collectionneuse.

“Boy meets girl. Boy flirts with girl. Boy leaves girl for another girl whom he already loves.”

That’s how the AV Club summarizes the plots of the films that make up Six Moral Tales. Yet while not much happens on the surface, this series of movies from French filmmaker Eric Rohmer are many a cinephile’s dream.

To celebrate Rohmer’s life (1920-2010) and work, Cinematheque is presenting an ongoing retrospective. The retrospective kicks off with Six Moral Tales, all of which focus on sexual temptation and the rationalization of desire. It’s a rare chance to see these classics, made between 1962 and 1972, on the big screen.

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Rohmer retrospective kicks off with six moral tales of sex and desire

Killers, thieves and gumshoes – Cinematheque’s Film Noir series is back!

The iconic image from the Coen brothers' Blood Simple.

The iconic image from the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple.

Each year, Vancouver’s premiere arthouse Cinematheque presents a festival of dark shadows, lonely streets, tough guys and tougher dames. This year’s Film Noir festival (Aug. 4-22) includes not only seminal works from the genre’s postwar heyday, but also “neo-noir” selections from the sixties and the eighties, too.

All told, Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) is screening 13 films, nine for the first time. Here are some highlights.

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Killers, thieves and gumshoes – Cinematheque’s Film Noir series is back!

Mind-blowing, adult 1973 Japanese animated feature comes to Cinematheque

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Considered by cinephiles to be one of the great lost masterpieces of Japanese animation, Belladonna of Sadness was never officially released in North America. But a beautifully restored 4k digital restoration is currently making the rounds of the arthouse cinema circuit, with screenings at the Cinematheque (1131 Howe St.) in Vancouver from June 3-8.

Belladonna of Sadness was produced by Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of Japanese anime and manga, but directed by his long-time collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto. The film unfolds as a series of spectacular still watercolour paintings inspired in part by Gustav Klimt. But the 1973 mindblower also reflects the freewheeling spirit of other seventies animated features like Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards and Rene Laloux’s Fantastic Planet. It’s also an adult-oriented flick that is filled with violence and explicit sexuality.

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Mind-blowing, adult 1973 Japanese animated feature comes to Cinematheque

Better than Netflix – five cool November movie experiences in Vancouver

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Scene from Lightning Bolt’s The Metal East.

Puppy mills, a sacred spruce, Brigitte Bardot and some of the best music videos of the past year are among the subjects in our cinematic picks for November.

Whether you’re an arthouse habitué, music fan or animal lover, Vancouver’s specialty theatres are offering up a plethora of special events designed to remind us that there is more to life than Netflix.

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Better than Netflix – five cool November movie experiences in Vancouver

Cinematheque spotlights the man behind Alien, H.R. Giger

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Cinematheque shines a spotlight on the man responsible for one of the most horrific creatures to ever come to the big screen.

From May 28-31, the theatre is screening a documentary about the Swiss surrealist who terrorized millions with his design for the creature in Alien, alongside the original 1979 movie itself. This double-bill is a treat for anyone who is a fan of horror, science fiction, and fantasy art – especially if their taste runs towards the perverse.

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Cinematheque spotlights the man behind Alien, H.R. Giger

Lovers in dangerous times – a retrospective of acclaimed Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien

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Shu Qi and Chang Chen in Three Times.

For some film buffs, the only way to see a movie is in big-screen, 35mm projection. For those fans, and fans of international cinema in general, Cinematheque’s current retrospective of a contemporary filmmaker is a major event.

Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien, which is currently touring internationally, includes all 17 features that the director has released to date, as well as shorts and important collaborations.

Considered by many to be one of the most important and influential filmmakers of the past three decades, Hou Hsiao-hsien is an innovative artist whose movies can best be described (as the Cinematheque’s press release eloquently puts it) as “contemplative, deeply humanistic” and “visually accomplished.”

Take, for instance, Three Times.

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Lovers in dangerous times – a retrospective of acclaimed Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien

What to see at this year’s Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival

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Scene from Across the Ice.

Now in its 18th year, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (Feb. 13-21) brings the best movies about the outdoors to various venues in the city. Special guests and niche programming make it a not-to-be-missed event, especially for the outdoors-inclined.

But what if you’re a novice to the whole mountain-sports thing? We asked Tom Wright, Programming Manager for the VIMFF, for some inside tips on what to see at this year’s VIMFF.

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What to see at this year’s Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival